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  1. #1
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Flare, productive uses, controls, & mimicry

    So this thread inspired a thought.

    How can we use, control, and or mimic flare?

    First, I'm not talking about the funky, special effects type flare, that causes shapes to scatter across a shot. I'm talking about the flare that provides a general change.

    As an example, a generic pre-exposure for example seems to me to be a way of mimicking/adding a flare effect. It also seems to me that the second, after fix, developer bath sometimes used with Pyro might have a similar effect, but that's pure conjecture on my part

    One example I experienced was when I bought my Nikkor 35mm f/2 lens and experimented with it in a high key studio set in place of the 50mm f/1.8. Instantly I had a very dreamy effect I wasn't planning on. I love that lens but pointing it at a large bright white background is a problem. So it seems t me that focal length plays a role.

    I know many of us skip the use of lens hoods for various reasons even though we may know that flare may affect the shots.

    So, IMO it seems a given that flare affects every shot, how can we/do you use or control flare?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  2. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I have always considered flare as an issue with the complete cycle of image making.

    I try to always use a good lens hood,
    I always mask my negatives to block out light.
    I always move objects off my easel that can reflect light.
    I make sure I paint around my easel black
    I am always on the look out for flare light when printing.

  3. #3
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    So flare seems to be mostly a "problem" for you Bob, something to eradicate.

    I am interested in controlling flare in this sense for a lot of my work, but I also want to see/learn how these techniques are used creatively.

    For example, http://www.mattblack.com/kingdomofdust/01.html

    Like using a short DOF or a swirly Petzval lens, flare in that particular shot from Matt Black, is a tool worthy of consideration for simplifying or adding mood to the composition.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  4. #4
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I use flare light or flash creatively when printing, but to be honest the bouncing flare light seems to be a problem for me so yes I try to eliminate it in my systems.
    Sometimes for lith negatives I will overexpose by 3-4 stops and process normal, this give an incredibly thick negative, then I will expose the paper for about 3 minutes with a wide open enlarger lens onto old graded paper **elite** , the effect is so old world, on ilford Warmtone without tone the prints are yellow green and really quite nice. I think this would be considered using flare to create and effect or style of print.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    So flare seems to be mostly a "problem" for you Bob, something to eradicate.

    I am interested in controlling flare in this sense for a lot of my work, but I also want to see/learn how these techniques are used creatively.

    For example, http://www.mattblack.com/kingdomofdust/01.html

    Like using a short DOF or a swirly Petzval lens, flare in that particular shot from Matt Black, is a tool worthy of consideration for simplifying or adding mood to the composition.

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Interesting Bob, I haven't played with Lith yet. I'm sure there's flare involved.

    That's the kind of stuff I was hoping to find, stuff done for effect.

    The 35mm lens that I talked about in the op actually provided an interesting effect, it was a problem only because the expectations were different for that work.

    Though tame compared to your example, my 150SF lens for my RB brings a wonderful glow to strongly lit or backlit subjects that simplifies the subject matter, blurring the imperfections.

    This is really useful when photographing women with a touch of maturity but not limited to them.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  6. #6
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Coming out of that thread, I want to make sure I can realistically model flare so I can truly call where my spot meter readings fall on the negative. I don't care if it takes a long time planning, discussing, and hammering out the details. I want the results that I can apply in the field. That's why I use the Zone System terminology for camera and meter, but sensitometry in the darkroom.

    I only have an instant to take the photograph, but all the time in the world to finish it in the darkroom.

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I put a lens hood on the camera today to minimize flare. I had the opportunity to walk around everybody and have the sun at my back but the composition I wanted was there, facing into the sun.

    An old Rolleiflex I had took pictures with dramatic flare like you describe. A dreamy halo around bright spots. It had uncoated optics and heavy cleaning marks. I also get flare when I use my Ikonta. I don't know if you have to shoot Tessar lenses to get flare, but it seems like whenever I get flare, it's a Tessar.

  8. #8
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Im not as worried about mapping the zones as I am about about understanding the concepts. Put another way, I want to understand when to expect a problem and how to adjust.

    Part of the reason that I think I'm less worried about the mapping is that my norm is to peg my mid tones, because that's where my subjects are, rather than my shadows. Typically done with an incident meter.

    That doesn't mean flare isn't ever a consideration.

    Last weekend my wife and I went to Chimayo to see the church. They don't allow photography inside. So I got a long lens and set up on a tripod outside. Had it not been such a busy day, say mid-week, I would have walked up front with the incident meter, but of necessity I used my N90s with a 105mm lens and spot metered the alter as best I could.

    I got close, but I believe the people in the doorway and the facade of the building contributed some flare in the lens and I got a reading that got me a bit less exposure than I was hoping for. I should have known that, or at least been able to guess that that would have bit me and adjusted properly.

    Part of the reason I should have known is that I was planning on the the facade blowing out mostly, leaving just enough detail to see that I was looking in.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Wow Mark, I can't believe they wouldn't let you bring cameras inside. It seems to be no issue here in the missions. And when you can setup a tripod and catch the altar with 1 second of natural light, it is so rewarding.

    BTZS teaches how to shoot a "black hole". It's a large-ish cardboard box spraypainted black inside with a shade like a lens shade over an opening cut in the front. You put this in your pictures, like a prop, and shoot away. The theory is it is pure black. No light that goes in comes out. So any density over base+fog on the negative you get... Is from flare.

    I've heard you can get pretty much the same test by painting a coffee can black inside.

  10. #10
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Mark,

    You seem to be jumping around a bit on what type of flare you're interested in. I have a feeling this isn't it, but I put together graphs of 3 examples of camera image flare to compare: no flare. one stop flare, two stops flare.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camera Flare examples.jpg  

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